“The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Matthew 13:45-46).
There is one song that sums up our Gospel passage today: “You take the whole world, and give me Jesus… you take the whole world and give me Jesus… you take the whole world and give me Jesus… am satisfied, am satisfied.”
There is also another song that brings home the message: “My lifetime, I will give God my lifetime, my lifetime, I will give God my lifetime… if I give God my lifetime, he will take care of me, he will never let me die, I will give God my lifetime.”
Dear friends, if we really want to get to heaven, we must make heaven our greatest priority. Our desire for heaven must be such that we are willing to let go of everything else on earth. The deeper meaning of the parable of the merchant selling all he had for one pearl of great value is that the bliss of heaven is worth any sacrifice or pain we would have to endure at this moment if only to get heaven.
The man in his parable knew the value of the pearl was beyond everything he had to give in exchange for it. Perhaps so many people laughed at him for buying this pearl but he knew he would laugh better at last. Christians of today are so worried and troubled when they do not have the ‘goodies’ of this life, and very often they compromise their values just for these passing things. Ask yourself, whatever it is I am trying to achieve now, will it matter if I died today? If it won’t, then it has no value.
Do not be so bothered when everything is not in place in your life. Say to yourself: “It does not matter.” I may not have any money in the bank, I may not have food in the kitchen, I may not be successful in my business, I may not have any true friends or connections, I may not have a Ph.D., I may not have built a house, bought a car or married, I may not have children of my own, I may not have achieved anything significant even in life but it doesn’t matter. The only thing that counts is that if I die right now, I would be found worthy of eternal life.
There is a saying: “Do not spend your health trying to make money because all the money in the world cannot buy back your health.” In a similar vein, we can say: “Do not spend your soul trying to gain the world because all that the world contains cannot buy back your soul.” Never get too busy that you do not have time for personal prayer and daily examination of conscience (which is the act of checking up on your soul).
After speaking with God, Moses’ face shone so brightly that the people had to put a veil on his face. When you spend time praying, this is what happens to you. Your whole body receives supernatural light. Like the pearl of great value a man found, the time you spend alone with God is of greater value than anything else in life. Nothing else matters.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to get my spiritual priorities right. Amen.
Bible Study: Exodus 34:29-35 Psalm 99 and Matthew 13:44-46).